AVENUE board member Kevin Hainsworth is hoping for a fairytale outcome to the new season but is not getting carried away.

After an influx of summer signings, hopes are high that the Horsfall club can mount a serious challenge but Hainsworth warned that they would again be coming up against clubs with more financial clout.

He said: “Lots of things have changed but some things never do. We will have to work hard to compete with most of the clubs in our division because many still have much bigger budgets.

“We are the paupers, like Cinders. Mind you, she did all right in the end so you never know what might happen. We are certainly not the one of the ugly sisters though, not the way we play our football.

“We may not be among the favourites for promotion but we won a lot of friends and admirers last season with our style of play. I know people will look at us and think that because we have strengthened that expectations should be high, but, all the other clubs have strengthened as well."

Finance director Hainsworth can't wait for the new campaign to get under way when Avenue visit Gloucester City a week tomorrow in the newly-sponsored Vanarama Conference North.

He said: “I think this is the best time of the season, before the first match all things are equal, every club is on the same footing and is full of the same nervous ambition.

“Everything looks rosy on paper as the sums have been done, the budget set and the squad moulded. It’s an exciting time full of optimism but it can all go awry very quickly.

"It all depends on how well we get off really. We need a good start because if you don’t get that you are always playing catch up.”

It has been an eventful week for everyone at Horsfall Stadium.

Avenue squeezed in a friendly derby against Bradford City, they signed Steve Mallory and Martin Drury, while Nicky Boshell’s unhappy time at the club came to an end.